UAE-based Fero, the cloud-based RPA and ERP-products company that has created TiA, the World’s 1st Intelligent Virtual Assistant for Supply Chain, is announcing the successful closure of the fundraising of $1.1M from a boutique institutional investor and various prominent angel investors.
Founded in 2018, Fero provides an ecosystem of Transport ERPs and TiA – Transport Interactive Assistant, a software to free logistics employees from mundane tasks. TiA listens, understands, talks, & messages over various messaging platforms, just like Alexa built for Logistics enterprises. The Fero’s ecosystem includes SaaS for First, Last and Mid-Mile Transport Management, Delivery Management and the unique SaaS product of a “Plug-and-Play Uberization” for Road-Freight, called FAST (Freight Aggregation Software for Trucking), all of them come with TiA as well as TiA works on with any other Freight ERP in the market.
Driven by a 6-deal increase and a 164% YoY growth in amount of funding, the UAE-based Transport & Logistics (T&L) industry becomes the 4th largest ecosystem nationally by Q3 2021. As recorded in our UAE Q3 2021 Venture Investment Report, it was major rounds by T&L startups like Lyve Global, Trukkin, and Fenixthat drove investor interest this year and created new avenues for the industry. Remarkably, the idea of an asset-light, fully-tech integrated T&L or E-commerce delivery platform seems to be picking up in the UAE and across Emerging Venture markets with startups like Palletpal, ILLA, and Cloud Fret pioneering these digital innovations.
Part of the Microsoft Growth X programme and its novel B2B innovation, Fero is already being adopted and in use by marquee clients such as DSV, Gulftainer and Emirates Logistics with customers in GCC, India and the UK. The UAE-based team enables operations employees to automate everyday tasks such booking loads, collecting shipment documents and checking on the status of drivers and be left with only having to manage exceptions. Co-Founder and COO Carolin-Carmen Neubauer finds this an exciting and empowering feat “Imagine the scale of orders and new customers you can suddenly handle with a skeleton of a team with zero errors! The Fero customer acquisition growth figures of above 20% month-on-month speak for themselves.”
By applying TiA, to the existing Freight ERPs, the UAE-based team has served sectors including distribution, retail, and logistics, and has automated over 2,000,000 interactions – including emails and calls, related to 100,000 automated truck trips end to end from rate exploration until invoicing resulting in combined savings of an estimated $18 MM for Fero clients. “Visibility and communication between internal and external parties are critical albeit very difficult as shippers, transporters, and freight forwarders use various transport management and delivery management systems. Everyone is tired of new apps so we rely on existing communication tools such as WhatsApp, plus we know that in a fragmented market such as the road freight market where e.g. the top six carriers hold less than 5% market share of a $125 bn market, there will never be unity in the systems in use” Carolin-Carmen highlighted.
The power of the Fero software is the improved optimization through enhancement of asset allocation with the help of applying machine learning based on a complex set of variables such as driver constraints, vehicle constraints, route constraints, all combined with customer behavior when allocating and receiving the shipment. With its new infusion of capital, the company looks to add tech engineers to its team to continue growing its product capabilities, increase its presence in Europe, and further work on additional integrations with Freight ERPs. Carolin-Carmen concluded, “The raise is a great validation of the current success and future potential of Fero products and the team.”